Welcome to the website of the xPRINT ERC Consolidator Project coordinated by Dr. Andrea Camposeo at the National Enterprise for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NEST) of the Institute of Nanoscience-CNR and of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.
The xPRINT project aims at developing four-dimensional printing of new adaptive systems, namely printing of complex, three-dimensional polymer objects embedding functional compounds and able to change or adapt their physical properties responding to environmental stimuli. Additive manufacturing of three-dimensional objects relies on depositing or curing materials in a layer-by-layer fashion, starting from computer assisted design. These technologies have rapidly evolved from laboratory research to commercially available desktop systems, with costs decreasing continuously. Notwithstanding such astonishing progress, the potentialities of three-dimensional printing are still poorly exploited in terms of both materials and process resolution.
The xPRINT project aims at shedding new light on the fundamental aspects of three-dimensional polymerization, and at specifically engineering additive manufacturing for printing materials embedding active compounds, thus leading to real four-dimensional objects, namely structures that have three-dimensional features and time-changing physical properties at the same time. An integrated approach will be pursued to this aim, where modeling and process engineering are complemented by process monitoring through advanced spectroscopy and imaging, in order to establish well defined and reproducible methods for four-dimensional printing of photonic structures. The operation of the adaptive components, for optical computing and data storage, will be based on their nonlinear response to optical inputs, such as the intensity and the polarization of incident light.
The xPRINT project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement n. 682157).